Glass Road Game
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- For 1-4 players
- Takes about 75 minutes to play
- Strategy game with interesting theme
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Glass Road is a game that commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today the Glass Road is a route through the Bavarian Forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you to keep your business flowing. Cut the forest to keep the fires burning in the ovens and spread and remove ponds, pits and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders. The game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of fifteen specialist cards and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, each player needs to choose a hand of five specialists. If he then plays a specialist that no other player has remaining in his hand, he may use both abilities of that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each of them may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of the specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits) and build a variety of buildings. There are three types of buildings: Processing buildings Immediate buildings with a one-time effect Buildings that provide bonus points at the end of the game for various accomplishments Mastering the balance of knowing the best specialist card to play and being flexible about when you play it together with assembling a clever combination of buildings is the key to this game.
Top Customer Reviews
The rondel mechanic is pretty fun to manage, and building out your little plot of land is fun, but what makes this game great are the tough choices on which specialists to play based upon which ones you think your opponent will play. It is a lot like Race for the Galaxy in that way, but it feels more combative in some ways.
I really really want to love this game more than I do, but I feel like the luck of the draw of the available tiles plays far too much of a role in the outcome.
Mechanically, there are two parts that are new to me. First is the way you select your actions. It's pretty neat and brainburn inducing. There is some calculation (eg, how do I get what I need?) and a bit of psychology (what will she choose?). You can try to guess the latter based on what your opponents need, but every action is covered by multiple specialists so it's never all that simple. Note here that multiplayer games work somewhat differently than 2-player games, and this affects the strategy.
The other novel bits are the resource wheels. They serve their purpose well and help to keep the game moving. After playing a few games of Glass Road, it's hard to go back to other resource conversion games that use loads of little wooden bits. Maybe you like playing with all the little bits (and I confess, I do like it in Stone Age), but I really love how much less fiddly it is than Agricola.
One of the reasons we like The Glass Road so much is that, while we want interaction, we don't really care for confrontation. In this game, you are constantly interacting not just through the play of your chosen specialists, but also in your choice of what buildings to, uh, build. To do well, you must constantly assess your opponent's tableau, so you know what your opponents can do now, and what they are likely to be planning for the future. The other likely reason is that The Glass Road moves very quickly. There are a lot of decisions to make in the 60 minute playing time. Our other favorite game, Race for the Galaxy, shares these aspects, although the playing experience is entirely different.
This game has a wonderful different dynamic with 1-4 players. I am glad I purchased this game!
Don't get me wrong--I actually really like Agricola (and own several of its expansions). Glass Road just pulls off the unique trick of being deep and challenging, but keeping the play time shorter. The solo rules were enjoyable, too--actually more so than Agricola's. This is a great game.